LOS ANGELES (CIRCA) – At its recent developer conference, smartphone maker Samsung gave an early prototype look at its upcoming foldable, dual-screen smartphone.

This isn’t to be confused with the flip phones of yesteryear, where a tiny screen folded shut opposite rows of clicky keys. On this device, the larger of its screens itself is foldable — made of Samsung’s new Infinity Flex Display — and can either open up to the size of a tablet, or wallet shut completely to reveal a smaller, smartphone-size screen on its back.

Now, if you’ve seen a few sci-fi movies, you know this foldable-screen technology has always been the endgame for handheld computer devices. But, back to reality, how excited should you be about getting one of these actual Samsung smartphone foldables in your hands once it’s out of prototype and on sale, presumably next year?

“I’m not sure I see the screen size in smartphones is a problem for people … maybe there is some true utility in having three apps open when you fold this phone open.”

Cliff Maldonado, founder and lead analyst at BayStreet Research

“Personally, I struggle with the utility,” said Cliff Maldonado, founder and lead analyst at BayStreet Research.

He told Circa that Samsung’s foldable screen technology reveal was a pretty cool flex on the industry, but the phone that the company plans to launch, rumored to be called the Galaxy F or Galaxy X, might be a bad combination of expensive and lacking in life-changing features to pull customers away from their already great Galaxy or even iPhone.

“I’m not sure I see the screen size in smartphones is a problem for people … maybe there is some true utility in having three apps open when you fold this phone open,” Maldonado said skeptically. “I’ll have to see the software development. Samsung isn’t really known for software development, necessarily, so it could be … it’ll likely be a little rough around the edges.”

DJ Koh, Dong Jin Koh, DongJin Koh

Eric Risberg/AP
Samsung CEO DJ Koh speaks during the keynote address of the Samsung Developer Conference, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

He went on to say the expected price of a foldable Galaxy is $1,500 or more.

“That’s a laptop [price point], so you really have to justify: ‘Why do I need to spend all that money?’”

Samsung isn’t the first company to take on the foldable phone. Last year, ZTE released the Axon M, though instead of an actual screen that folded, it used two displays side by side to create its larger display.

Smartphones Foldable Screens

Michael Liedtke/AP
In this Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, photo is a FlexPai smartphone with a flexible screen displayed in San Francisco. Royole Corp. recently unveiled what it is billing to be the world’s first smartphone with a flexible screen so the device can be folded like a billfold. The phone will go on sale next month in China only, but Royole hopes to release it in the U.S. next year. Samsung announced its plans for its own foldable-screen phone in San Francisco on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke)

And just this month, a new company called Royole announced it will release a single-screen foldable smartphone before the end of this year.

Samsung’s first glance does look to be slicker than these foldables, and the company has positioned itself as the first big brand among the several rumored to be developing a similar foldable-screen phone.

“That’s a laptop [price point], so you really have to justify: ‘Why do I need to spend all that money?’”

Cliff Maldonado, founder and lead analyst at BayStreet Research

Of course, the trillion-dollar question revolves around whether Apple will follow with a foldable-screen phone of its own.

Maldonado doesn’t think so — at least at first.

“I think Apple is focused on making the watch better than the phone … or as good as the phone. And then eventually Apple is going to do the [augmented reality] glasses,” he said. “So, I think Apple’s portfolio is pretty vibrant.”

So, you have to wonder: Can any smartphone trend actually become a success without Apple falling into the fold?